Premier in region to launch million-dollar campaign
PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk visited the Scenic Rim today to speak to disaster-affected farmers whose properties were damaged by the recent floods.
Ms Palaszczuk said many primary producers had been battling drought and now had experienced heavy rain, intense wind gusts and flooding that has destroyed crops or severely impacted on their on-farm production and infrastructure.
The State Government is seeking Commonwealth support for a marketing campaign to encourage Queenslanders to support the State's disaster affected farmers and the approval from Canberra for increased government aid for those producers.
Visiting the Scenic Rim today with Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Economic Development Bill Byrne, the Premier said these measures would help the worst affected producers get back into production sooner.
"Firstly, I want the Commonwealth to match our contribution of up to $1 million for a 'Support Queensland, Support Local Farmers' campaign to start as soon as Easter Sunday," she said.
"We want consumers to know some produce from the severely damaged regions is in short supply and we want them to be aware when our Queensland grown fruit and vegetables are back on shelves, so they can support local growers.
"Fittingly, this campaign was initiated in discussions with Bowen region capsicum grower Carl Walker on Saturday around his kitchen table.
"Growers know they have the support of consumers for the quality produce they grow.
"They need those consumers to stick with them as they move to resume production."
Minister Byrne said this approach was similar to another current campaign, using rugby league legend Sam Thaiday, called on Queenslanders to support the local seafood industry as a result of the detection of white spot disease.
The Premier said she would continue to make representations to the Turnbull Government to grant Category C assistance.
Under Category C, assistance is available for severely affected communities, regions or sectors and includes clean-up and recovery grants of up to $25,000 for small businesses and primary producers and/or the establishment of a Community Recovery Fund.
"I am disappointed that federal Minister Michael Keenan has failed to ensure Category C is approved as soon as possible," she said.